Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Throw Back #StreamTeam

Everybody seems to be familiar with the term "Throw Back Thursday" (#tbt) on social media these days. It's fun to look at old pictures and see crazy hairstyles, reminisce about "the good ol' days" or even at my age I jokingly use "well, when I was a kid..."

Netflix helps make #tbt a fun time for us with the kids too offering some shows when George and I were younger! My baby brother, who is 8 years younger than me, was really into Inspector Gadget when he was young, so I can remember watching that cartoon---back when cartoons were something we looked for on Saturday mornings!   It's been fun to watch with Lily who is fascinated with creating her own things. I love her vivid imagination and she thinks Inspector Gadget is funny, so it's a winning show for us together!  

Another one of my favorites as a kid was Garfield and Friends. I loved that silly cat! Both Lily, Violet, and I have watched after baths and before bed.  They seem to be loving Garfield and feeling sorry for Odie too--just like I did. :)  

Of course, Lily is fascinated with My Little Pony Friendship is Magic and that is a daily watch in our house!  She's also gotten interested in Scooby-Doo lately after one of her preschool friends talked about it. Scooby-Doo was a favorite in my house growing up too. My other brother and I watched Scooby-Doo all the time as kids--definitely one of our favorites! 

It's been fun to see these older shows on Netflix and experience them again with my own kids! 

I've been watching a "sort-of" throw back in 90210 lately after everyone has gone to bed. I lovelovelove my teenybopper shows and since I loved the original 90210, I decided to check out the rest of the newer 90210. I  started watching it when it came on tv several years ago, but didn't keep up with it. I binge watched it recently and loved it! 

What were some of your favorites as a kid?

Also be sure to check back soon on the blog to see what's new on Netflix in July! 

Must-Watch Throwbacks

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▪ Garfield and Friends
▪ The Super Mario Bros Super Show!
▪ The Smurfs 2
▪ Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated

Disclosure: As a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam I was provided subscription to Netflix and also exclusive insights or other products. All opinions are my 100% my own and I was already a proud Netflix subscriber prior to this opportunity. Please see my full disclosure.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Pampers and Walmart Give Back #giveaway

When Katy Perry belts out the lyric, “I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar!” four-year-old Grayson can’t help but sing along with her. He loves her song “Roar” and can certainly relate to it.

When Grayson was only 2 years old, he started complaining the room was spinning. Fast forward several weeks to his diagnosis: an inoperable brain tumor and the start of chemotherapy to shrink or maintain the tumor’s size. Less than a year later, Grayson suffered from another devastating injury: he was in a lawnmower accident that resulted in the loss of four toes and partial amputation of his foot.

Praised for his optimistic attitude, Grayson hasn’t let these traumatic events get him down. He thinks of himself as the comic book character Iron Man, and lovingly refers to his primary oncologist as Dr. Octopus. Just like Iron Man, Grayson has turned his own medical challenge into an opportunity to fight back.

Thankfully, Children's Miracle Network helps children just like Grayson every day.  With your support, that help is able to continue.

Children's Miracle Network Hospitals:
·  Your support helps provide 32 million patient visits for 10 million kids every year
· One in 10 kids in North America is treated by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals each year
·  Every day, member hospitals treat 16,000 children in emergency rooms
·  Every hour, member hospitals provide surgery for 97 children
·  U.S. members hospitals provided $3.4 billion in charity care in 2012

Walmart and Pampers are donating $200,000 to CMNH in June of 2015.  Just by purchasing Pampers diapers at Walmart you help! 

Visit Walmart.com/cmnh for more information and to make your own donation!

Have you had your own personal journey involving Children's Miracle Network? I'd love to hear about it!

Enter to win a $25 Walmart giftcard and you can help out just by purchasing!

Contest will from from today until July 3, 2015, at 11:59pm. Winner will be notified by email and you have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Walmart gift cards and information have been provided by P&G.

Disclosure: I was provided with a promotional item for my participation by P&G. Please see my full disclosure.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Girl Mom

I've had many labels since I first had a baby back in 1999.  New mom, boy mom, clueless mom, divorced mom, single mom, stepmom, and finally became a girl mom in 2010 for the first time. My second daughter was born in late 2013 thus solidifying my world into girls!

When we first found out Lily was a girl, I was over the moon excited! You see, blending a family comes with a lot of struggle. For everyone involved.

Although I would have been ecstatic to have had another boy, I was so truly happy that my son didn't have to share one.more.thing. when my husband and I had a baby together.  Andrew was ten when Lily was born.  When we got pregnant after Lily, I was again hoping for another girl {mostly} for the same reason, but I did have a piece of my heart hoping for my husband to have a boy to carry on his family name, as my husband is an only child. Having my first two kids ten years apart, I knew I wanted Lily to have a sibling close in age to grow up with after Andrew leaves home.  When we found out Violet was a girl, I was again thrilled! Sisters!

Read the rest here at Our Pretty Little Girls as part of the Girl Mom Series

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

#freetobe blanket babies

Somehow I have managed to have blanket babies.

All 3 of them.

Though Andrew probably wouldn't love it that I was sharing that about him now, he did give up his blankie age appropriately. ;)

The girls, however, both still love their blankies.  I'm not sure why they all have loved them so much, but I'm so glad they have.  My grandmother crocheted  all of them.  Andrew's was blue, Lily's is purple and Violet's is pink. When I say they are blanket babies, I mean those blankets go everywhere. Lily has gotten to where she has hers minimally throughout the day, but when she is tired or snuggling up to watch a movie, Purple Blankie is with her.  It's so loved, in fact, that she managed to put a hole in the middle of it.  She's put her piggies through it since she was a baby, she rubs it between her thumb and her pointer finger when she's falling asleep.

Violet does both of those things now as well. I love it so much! Now, Violet is at the age where she insists her blankie comes with her when she gets out of her crib each morning and after naptime. She wraps it around her shoulders like a cape and despite all my efforts, it gets dragged around with her all day long.

all free clear lets my girls be #freetobe dragging their blankets around to be loved and snuggled no matter where they are and I know I can wash them worry-free from skin sensitivities and now with the OXI booster to help me keep them looking bright and ensuring I get the power of OXI with the gentleness of all free clear.

Thanks to all free clear, my girls are #freetobe blankie babies without me worrying about their precious skin.  all free clear is the brand I trust to ensure my girls are able to keep their blankets rubbed against their faces without irritating their sensitive skin.

If you've been on the fence about trying all free clear, here's a coupon to help you over to the happy side! 

Violet is not happy for blankie washing day, but she is completely #freetobe snuggled up in her most prized possession after it comes fresh out of the dryer.

all free clear is the #1 recommended detergent brand by Dermatologists, Allergists, and Pediatricians for sensitive skin. It's tough on stains yet gentle enough for the whole family. Plus, it's safe for use in standard and HE machines. It rinses clean and has a gentle, hypoallergenic formula. Powerful Clean. Gentle on Skin.

all free clear is also 100% hypoallergenic.

NEW From the #1 Detergent Brand Recommended by Dermatologists Allergists and Pediatricians comes all® free clear liquid fabric softener, dryer sheets, OXI mighty pacs and OXI boosters. Use together to make fabrics cleaner, softer, and more comfortable against your family’s sensitive skin. 100% free of dyes and perfumes. Gentle on skin. Safe for all washing machines. Find it in your fabric conditioner aisle!

The NEW OXI mighty pacs give you extra strength cleaning power for 30% less than Tide Free & Gentle pods.  Each little mighty pac is full of the concentrated cleaning power of OXI with the gentleness of free clear, providing a powerful clean that’s safe for the whole family.

The NEW OXI booster whitens and brightens clothes.  It’s safe on sensitive skin.  It costs 15% less than the leading brand AND you can use it to remove stains around the house (it can be used on carpet, upholstery and patio furniture, just to name a few!)  Who doesn't love multi-use items!

What I love most about all free clear laundry detergent is that I don't have to worry about my girls' sensitive skin, allergens, or worry that it's not tough enough to get everything clean! I love that they are just #freetobe little girls who love to run.

What are your kids #freetobe doing this summer?

** all free clear has just added a fantastic new sweepstakes five winners will win a year's supply worth of all free clear laundry detergent!  How to enter:  Share your blanket photo on all free clear's facebook page or twitter page be sure to use the hashtags #withmyblanket and #sweeps by July 26th!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Continuing to Spread the Love with #UltraHug

I am thrilled to continue supporting an amazing project Huggies is hosting while encouraging moms to participate for their own communities.  What a gift a $2000 grant will be to 10 lucky community organizations/projects from Huggies!

I chose the North Hills Community Outreach (NCHO) as my nominated community.

What I love about this organization is that it helps families within my own community with everyday needs from utility help, a food pantry, assistance specifically for women or seniors, employment assistance, education assistance, help in buying a car... you know--real needs for living and supporting a family.  There are volunteer opportunities available, coat drives for these brutal Pittsburgh winters, and also attorney services. Often times, there are families in need who fall through the cracks with making "too much," but simply not enough.  NHCO helps people we may know and I absolutely know that if we're ever in a place in need, we could go there to help our family.   I just saw this week on twitter where they were asking graduating senior from our high school if they were getting rid of those crazy expensive calculators that high school students are required to have for math to consider donating them!  THIS IS GENIUS! I was super stressed when knowing I had to last minute get a $100 calculator.  That was not in the budget at the time at all.

I love the "real life" services provided by NCHO, so I am proud to nominate them as a potential recipient of an Huggies #UltraHug grant!

I challenge all of you to enter!  You have your phone in your hand anyway! Details on how are below...

From April 20th until June 25thHuggies will be accepting all selfies of you and your baby with the hashtag #UltraHug, and featuring them in a collage on the campaign landing page.

On July 6th, voting will begin to narrow down the 20 finalists to 10 winners who will win a $2,000 grant from Huggies for their nominated community initiative.

How you can enter the #UltraHug Selfie Contest:

• First, take a selfie of you and your baby and upload that selfie to Twitter or Instagram. Make sure to use the hashtag #UltraHug
• In your same post, make sure to include a text nomination (approximately 100 – 120 characters) including a name and/or identifying description of a community project in the US, which you would like to nominate. Make sure the community project is something near and dear to your heart.

What are you waiting for? This is the easiest contest ever and for such a great cause!

Find out more clicking any of the links or above or right here

Speaking of Huggies, their new exclusive Snug & Dry Ultra diapers are exclusively at Walmart and have easily become an addition to Violet's everyday life.

These Huggies Snug & Dry Ultra diapers offer long-lasting leakage protection you can count on, so you can focus on all of your baby’s daily adventures. The range of sizes fit babies from newborn to 35 lbs. Only Huggies Snug & Dry Ultra diapers have a new, unique quilted liner to lock away wetness better. We recently moved up to size 5 diapers for her and although she still has a little room--you know that fun, in between sizes for diapers, she simply doesn't. have. leaks. Yay!

They have a conforming, gap-free fit to keep your active baby dry throughout the day The trusted Leak Lock® System has quick-absorbing layers for up to 12 hours of protection.

This is my girl all day long... never stopping, always on the go. So a diaper has to work with her!

Daddy Daughter Date

Every week, George and I make sure that we spend some one-on-one time. With a crazy work schedule, 4 kids and activities, it's not always the easiest, but we've been committed this year to carving it out. We've been fortunate enough to actually get out on a date night once a week since January with the exception of two weeks.  This is nothing short of amazing! It's been good for our marriage and our family. This week, on our regular date night, we decided the girls needed some time with their daddy.

Chili's hosted this event last night near our house and we decided it was perfect for them! I put Lily and Violet in their "I ♥ Daddy" shirts --they could wear long sleeves because the weather has been chilly lately too.  Violet was grumpy and ready to go because she was hungry, so fruit snacks for bribery only went so far.

I snapped a few pictures and off they went to a supper out, arts and crafts, and face painting.

Lily is a good sport most of the time and near the end of the picture taking, she asked me if she could have her arms behind her like she does in the above pic and I said no because it looks like she doesn't have arms.  That led to, "How 'bout like this?"

"Or this?"

They had a nice time, the girls made foam picture frames, they each were given a picture of all of them to put in their frames. And even before my sweet husband knew that they would get their picture taken, he had someone take one on his phone to send to me. {He knows it's important to me.}

I'm glad they had fun!